SLA threatens to demolish refugee’s home
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 September 2003, 16:30 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Tuesday threatened to demolish the home of a family that had resettled in Valalai in the Valigamam Division of Jaffna, residents of the village said. On Monday the SLA ordered families in Valalai that had built brick houses to dismantle their homes immediately. Soldiers warned the family that refused to comply with the SLA’s order that its home would be demolished by Wednesday, residents said.
The other families living in brick houses have already begun to dismantle their homes, according to them.
The SLA told the villagers Monday that they can repair their homes if they wish to do so – but only with thatch. Sri Lankan military sources in Jaffna said that houses and other permanent structures in the village would obstruct the army’s vantage view from the Palaly- KKS high security zone.
The people of Valalai fled the village in early 1991 to escape Sri Lanka army operations to expand the defence perimeter of the Palaly military base. All the permanent structures in the village, including hundreds of houses, were destroyed during the operations.
About 800 families were allowed to resettle here in 1997 as the village lay beyond the outer defence perimeter of the Palali base.
Initially none of the refugee families who came back to resettle in Valalai had resources to rebuild their homes as the price of construction material was very high in Jaffna at the time.
However, when the price of bricks and cement came down in Jaffna with the opening of the A9 road last year, twenty-three families were able to rebuild their homes as permanent structures.
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